Dr Disrespect: why the streamer was banned from Twitch - and the Brime conspiracy involving Ninja and Shroud explained
Gaming site Kotaku has reported Dr Disrespect’s ban as being very real and very permanent
One of Twitch’s most popular streamers has been permanently banned from the platform, and the reasons why remain suspiciously unclear.
Just three months after Guy “Dr Disrespect” Beahm signed an exclusive streaming deal with the Amazon-owned live-streaming platform for a sum he described as “life-changing”.
Here’s everything you need to know:
Why was Dr Disrespect banned?
Beahm’s channel disappeared from Twitch on the afternoon of Friday 26 June, though Twitch remains staunch in its refusal to confirm that Beahm has been banned in the first place, repeatedly denying requests for comment from high-profile gaming news outlets.
Its rebuttal to appeals for press comment remains: “As is our process, we take appropriate action when we have evidence that a streamer has acted in violation of our Community Guidelines or Terms of Service. These apply to all streamers regardless of status or prominence in the community.”
The ban of Dr Disrespect came just a day after Twitch announced it would start permanently banning streamers for sexual harassment and assault, but the reason for the streamer’s ban has not been clarified, and there is no evidence to suggest Beahm’s ban is related to the announcement.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death in police custody have had far reaching affects, with more and more people speaking out against injustices, whether race-related or not.
That’s led to a number of industries embarking on their own #MeToo moments, with everything from professional wrestling to stand-up comedy being revealed as hotbeds of systemic sexual assault and abusive relationships.
Gaming too is having something of a watershed moment, with numerous high-profile development studios, publishing companies and streaming sites dumping those accused of inexcusable behaviour.
What has Beahm said?
On Sunday 28 June, Beahm broke his silence on the matter, though his vague words arguably threw up even more confusion.
“Twitch has not notified me on the specific reason behind their decision,” he posted on Twitter. “Firm handshakes to all for the support during this difficult time.”
Beahm’s words suggest that Twitch is in the wrong here, and would suggest he is not aware of any actions that may have caused his removal from the platform.
On the one hand, his words could be construed as genuine lack of knowledge as to why he’s been banned, on the other, “specific reason” suggests there could be more than one cause for his removal.
On a third – unlikely but not impossible – hand, Beahm may not be banned at all, instead choosing to remove himself and fabricate an intriguing story to drum up publicity.
However, Kotaku – regarded as a trusted source in the world of gaming news – has corroborated reports of Beahm’s ban being very real and very permanent, with sources telling the site the issue is “serious.”
Adding further evidence to the legitimacy of the ban, Twitch is refunding viewers’ subscriptions to the Dr Disrespect channel and removing his emotes; the platform has also reportedly revoked Beahm’s partner status.
What is the Brime conspiracy?
Could the whole thing actually be a carefully coordinated publicity stunt?
Since Dr Disrespect’s vague Tweet on the matter, a conspiracy theory that posits he and two other high-profile streamers could actually be positioning themselves to start their own, Spotify-backed streaming service called Brime.
Both Ninja and Shroud – two hugely popular talents in the world of streaming – recently became ‘free agents’ with Microsoft’s closure of Mixer, the streaming site to which they were previously exclusively contracted.
Could the three of them be working together to launch Brime?
It’s unlikely. Why would Dr Direspect break the terms of a recently signed multi-million dollar deal with Twitch to risk it all on an unproven new service, especially since Mixer’s collapse in the face of Twitch’s continued dominance of the playspace?
The silence surrounding his ban suggests something much more serious.
It would also be a highly inappropriate time for such a high-profile streamer to fabricate a ban ‘storyline’, and would risk undermining the very serious and real allegations leading to similar Twitch streamers having their accounts suspended.
Who is Dr Disrespect?
38-year old Guy Beahm is the man behind Dr Disrespect, a gaming persona once described by ESPN describes him as "a WWE character in the competitive gaming world".
Beahm himself has called Dr Disrespect “a character who plays multiplayer video games, and he's considered the most dominating gaming specimen,” nd is best known for playing battle royale games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends.
When playing as the Dr Disrespect character, Beahm wears a black mullet wig, sunglasses, a red or black long-sleeved athletic moisture-wicking shirt, and a red or black tactical vest.
He’s been banned from Twitch before: in 2019 he was banned from the platform for streaming from the toilets of the Los Angeles Convention Centre in the middle of annual mega gaming convention, E3.
His net worth is estimated to be about $3.5 million (£2.8 million).